Liverpool have been handed a major fitness boost ahead of their clash against Manchester United on 12 September after Christian Benteke returned to first-team training while on national team duty with Belgium. The Reds forward picked up a thigh injury during the Merseyside club's 3-0 loss at the hands of West Ham United prior to the international break.
Brendan Rodgers already faces the prospect of traveling to Old Trafford without two of his key players in Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho. The former is struggling with a foot injury, while the Brazilian is suspended after he was sent off after picking up two yellow cards against the Hammers.
Benteke missed Belgium's first Euro 2016 qualifier win over Bosnia-Herzegovenia, a 3-1 win that ensured that they still had a chance to top the group, despite Wales being just a win away from direct qualification. Marc Wilmots has now revealed that the striker is 100% fit, but has not guaranteed him a starting spot for their clash against Cyprus on Sunday, 6 September.
"He said he is fine. Hats off to the medical staff. He is 100% [fit], but that does not mean that he will automatically play," Wilmots said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
Meanwhile, England U21 international Danny Ings believes that it will be a big boost for him personally when Daniel Sturridge returns from injury. The former Burnley striker, who joined the Anfield outfit this summer, is looking forward to learning from the more experienced striker.
"He's a fantastic striker, he scores many goals, he's sharp, he works hard, so it will great to have him back," Ings told Liverpoolfc.com, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"He's another player that I can learn from. He's been doing it at the top level for many years now so it's great to have him back and I'm looking forward to working with him."
"I think everybody here has different qualities as strikers and it's only better for all of us to learn from each other - and especially for me to learn off them, the more experienced strikers here. It's great to have so many good strikers at the club for me to learn from," he added.